The Opposition Barbados Labour Party (BLP) has offered its support to the Ministry of Education as it seeks to determine the cause of a recent outbreak of sore throats, itchy skin and rash at the Lawrence T Gay Memorial School in Spooner’s Hill, St Michael.
Representative for St Michael West Central Ian Gooding-Edghill had special praise for Minister of Education Ronald Jones for his “swift response” and the intervention of his ministry.
Jones gave the assurance this week that his ministry was working diligently with the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) and the Ministry of Health to try to isolate the cause of the outbreak which teachers and parents attributed to environmental issues.
Gooding-Edghill, in whose constituency the school is located, said a a long-term solution should be sought, and he promised that it would be “easy and straightforward for us to cooperate” on resolving the issue, which has forced the closure of the learning institution.
“I am sure that we will all agree that we all have at least one thing in common, namely the best interests of our charges, especially at this very crucial stage of their lives and development,” Gooding-Edghill said in a statement to Barbados TODAY.
He said the Ministry of Education had been “quite responsive to the urgency of the situation”, but his constituents expected “more of the same as we seek to bring this issue to a satisfactory long-term conclusion.
“Not that there will not be differences of opinion about the approach that should be adopted, but I am sure that as long as we stay focused on the central issue of the welfare of the children, we will be able to demonstrate the cooperation, maturity and tolerance that will be necessary and of which we are all fully capable, for arriving at a consensus on the future direction to be taken.”
The BLP representative called on those affected to be patient and to maintain “the good decorum” that they have displayed so far.
“This will be most easily obtained by there being an understanding of the need for and practice of timely, open and regular communication among all parties about developments at every step of the way so as to build an environment of trust, confidence and respect throughout the members of the Lawrence T Gay extended family,” he said.